POST-WAR MAYORS OF CABUGAO

 
The first election in Cabugao after World War II was held on the second Tuesday of November 1947. Pitted against each other for the mayoralty race were Severo Corpuz of the Nacionalista Party and Jesus Serna of the Liberal Party. Severo Corpuz won but his running mate, Agustin Castillo, lost to Jose Azcueta, Jesus Serna's vice mayoralty candidate. Elected councilors were Crescencio S. Azcueta, Aniceto Savella, Justas Savella, Angel Sonico II, Pedro Suero and Patricio Braceros. In those days, Cabugao was entitled to only 6 councilors. They would be serving to a term of 4 years.
Severo Corpuz
 
In the November 1951 election, Cabugao witnessed a three-cornered fight for mayor. The candidates were Simeon A. Soller who was the official LP candidate. Jose Azcueta who ran as an independent and Lucio Zabala who was the official NP candidate. Simeon Soller bested his rivals while Aniceto Savella topped the vice-mayoralty race. For the first time Cabugao elected 8 councilors. They were Angel Sonico II, Pacifico Sison, Fermin Castillo, Jovencio Somera, Jose Simbe, Santos Sabio, Mariano Rocero and Juan Sonido.
 
Simeon Soller
A return bout between Mayor Soller and Lucio Zabala came in the November 1955 election. Jose Azcueta, the second placer in the 1951 election had joined forces with the mayor and there were many who predicted that Mayor Soller should be re-elected. They were wrong. Lucio Zabala won. Together with his running mate, Santos Sabio. The winning councilors were Miguel Parana, Angel Sonico II, Pedro Sistoza, Constante Sabio, Maria Segui, Felipe Tisbe, Lucio Sajor and Agrifino Cobangbang.

In July 1959, Mayor Zabala and his wife, Petra Serna Zabala, were murdered while taking supper in their house at Barangay Bonifacio. They had just taken their places at the dining table when two masked gunmen wearing raincoats entered and fired at them with automatic weapon at point-blank range. Vice Mayor Santos Sabio assumed the mayorship and served the remainder of the deceased mayor's term.

Santos Sabio
 
Lucio Zabala

The November 1959 election was coming up. In August of that year, a convention was held at the residence of ex-Mayor Simeon Soller to choose the candidates of the Liberal Party. Victorino A. Savellano, a young and brilliant lawyer, won the nomination and became the party official candidate for mayor. Picked as his running mate was Angel Sonico II, a grizzled veteran of the local politics who has been a member of the municipal council since pre-war days.

On the Nacionalista side, Salustiano Savella, Vic Savellano's second degree cousin, was named the party official candidate for mayor. His running mate was Wilfredo Zabala, eldest child of the slain mayor.

From the beginning, it was an uphill fight for the Liberals. The Nacionalistas were in power and all the forces, money and facilities of the national administration were brought to bear against them. But the Liberals had a superb organization and they carried the fight to the remote barrios, going house to house and holding rallies in places where many of them have never been before. Their efforts paid off. Vic Savellano won by a margin of 100 votes over Salustiano Savella. But his running mate, Angel Sonico II, lost to Wilfredo Zabala, receiving 2,620 votes against the latter's 2,625. Four candidates for councilor in Vic Savellano's line-up also won. They were Pacifico Sison, Frank Giner, Francisco G. Soller, and Aniceto Savella. The winners in Salustiano Savella's line-up were Hilario Gazmen, Teofilo Serrano, Mariano Rocero and Rodolfo Sonido. The newly elected officials were inaugurated on January 1, 1960.


Mayor Savellano ran for re-election as official LP candidate in November 1963, with Angel Sonico as his running mate. Pitted against them were the official NP candidates for mayor and vice-mayor -lawyer Higinio F. Soller and Pacifico P. Apostol, a doctor of medicine. Victorino Savellano was re-elected, receiving 3,755 votes against Higinio Soller's 2,257. Angel Sonico lost to Pacifico Apostol, garnering 2,139 votes against the latter's 2,813. In the race for councilors, the score was 6 to 2 in favor of the LPs. The winners were LP's Alberto Soller, Tomas Vallejo, Basilio Morales, Aniceto Savella, Cesario Garcia and Juan Aparri while the NPs had Rodolfo Sonido and Hilario Gazmen.

 

The defection of Senate President Ferdinand Marcos to the Nacionalista Party as a result of his feud with Diosdado Macapagal prompted changes in the local political scene. His loyal followers also became NPs and original NPs became LPs.

Mayor Savellano ran for a third term in the November 1967 election this time as official candidate of the Nacionalista Party, with Alberto Soller as his running mate. The LPs put up Vice Mayor Pacifico Apostol as their official candidate for Mayor, with Aniceto Savella as running mate. Mayor Savellano and Alberto Soller won. Elected councilors were Fermin Sumagit, Gregorio Pula, Tomas Vallejo, Rodolfo Sonido, Teofilo Serrano, Jose Simbe, Cesario Garcia and Victoriano Castillo. They were formally inaugurated on January 1, 1968.

Victorino A. Savellano
 
Later that same year, Mayor Savellano was appointed judge of the Court of the First Instance of Sanchez Mira, Cagayan. By operation of law, Vice Mayor Alberto Soller assumed the mayorship and served the remaining portion of his predecessor's four-year term that would expire on December 31, 1971. No. 1 Councilor Fermin Sumagit assumed the vice mayorship. All the other councilors went up to the ladder leaving the No. 8 position vacant. Appointed to fill the vacant position was Mrs. Virginia B. Savellano.
 
Alberto A. Soller
 

The November 1971 election saw Pacifico Apostol of the Liberal Party and Simeon Soller of the Nacionalista Party fighting for the mayorship of Cabugao. Apostol won, garnering 3,184 votes against Simeon Soller's 2,869. Apostol's running mate, lawyer Ernesto S. Somera, also bested Simeon Soller's running mate, Felix Savellano, receiving 4,092 votes against the latter's 1,844. But of Apostol's eight candidates for councilor, only two made it-Aniceto Savella and Victoriano Ramos. On Atty. Soller's side, the winners were Cesar Soller, Gregorio Pula, Filemon Sison, Froilan Rosario and Cesario Garcia. Also in the winners' circle was independent candidate Maximina Sonico.

The newly elected municipal officials were sworn into office on January 1, 1972, the inaugural program took place at the town auditorium. Outgoing Mayor Alberto Soller was absent. It was Vice-Mayor Fermin Sumagit who performed the symbolic rite of turning over the municipal administration to incoming Mayor Pacifico Apostol. The pabunar was separate. The LPs had theirs at the residence of Mayor Apostol. That of the NPs took place at the residence of Atty. Simeon Soller.

The first year of the Apostol Administration was marred by a violent incident that happened during the town fiesta. On coronation night, April 24, 1972, criminal elements lobbed two fragmentation grenades into the crowded auditorium killing and injuring hundreds of innocent people. In September that year, President Marcos declared Martial Law.

 
Pacifico P. Apostol
 

This unexpected move by the president had a sobering effect on the nation. For once tumultuous rallies instigated by political troublemakers stopped. Criminal elements began to lie low. More so, notorious drug lord was executed by firing squad at Camp Crame. In Cabugao and other towns, illegal possessors hastily surrendered their firearms to the authorities when the call was made for them to do so. The political goons ceased in their nefarious activities. The improved peace and order situation that came prompted people to welcome martial law.

On February 27, 1975 a national referendum was held to the people to answer the following questions: On local official - At the expiration of the terms of office of the elective officials on December 31, 1975, how do you want the successor chosen? To be appointed by the president. On Martial Law - 1. Do you approve of the manner the President has been exercising his powers under martial law and constitution? 2. Do you want the President to continue the same power? To both questions, the majority answered in the affirmative. There was no election in 1975. Local officials continued serving by executive fiat.

THE 1980 LOCAL ELECTION: The first election after the proclamation of martial law was held on January 30, 1980 with Mayor Apostol running for re-election under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) banner. His line-up included Dr. Cresencio S. Azcueta Sr. for vice-mayor and the following councilors: Felix Braceros, Cesario Garcia, Carlito S. Pano, Gregorio Pula, Benjamin Santella Jr., Jose Sesuca, Leandro Serrano and Nemesio Sonido. His rivals for mayorship were Atty. Simeon Soller and Helen Soller Lazo, both running under the NP banner. Atty. Soller's running mate was Jeremy Seguban and there were 5 candidates for councilor in their line-up namely, Andrea Soller-Tan, Fermin Castillo, Crisanto Soller, Jesus Sonido, Jovencio Somera. Helen Soller Lazo adopted Dr. Azcueta as her vice mayoralty candidate and had only 4 candidates for councilor. They were Harry Segui, Rumulo Castro, Modesto Vallejo and Teofilo Sunio. Mayor Apostol and his teammates won, with Benjamin Santella Jr. coming out as no.1 councilor. They were inducted into office on March 3, 1980 under the new law; they would be holding office for 6 years.
 
Cresencio S. Azcueta
 
On November 25, 1980, Mayor Pacifico Apostol left for the United States with Dr. Francisco G. Soller to seek the support of the stateside Cabugaoenians in the construction of the Cabugao Cultural Center. On January 3, 1981, while in San Jose, California, Mayor Apostol succumbed to heart attack. He was only 53. His remains were brought back to Cabugao for interment. By operation of law, Vice Mayor Azcueta assumed the mayorship.

THE EDSA REVOLUTION: The toppling of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 as a result of the first EDSA Revolution and the subsequent installation of Corazon Aquino as his replacement had nationwide repercussions. Not long after she assumed the presidency, Aquino started appointing Officers-in-Charge (OICs) to replace the incumbent governors and mayors who were not to her liking. Andrea Soller Tan was designated OIC of Cabugao and in October of that the same year, she replaced Mayor Cresencio S. Azcueta.

Edmund Sonico

(During the transition period from December 1987 to January 1988, all officers-in-charge who were running for election resigned. Thus the vacancy was filled in with an In-Charge of Offices, Mr. Edmund Sonico.)

 
Andrea Soller-Tan

The first local election after the EDSA revolution was held on January 18, 1988. The protagonists for the mayorship of Cabugao were Andrea Soller Tan and Francisco A. Savellano. There were three candidates for vice-mayor. They were Benedicto S. Azcueta, Benjamin B. Santella Jr. and Cresencio Sumagit. Andrea Soller Tan bested Francisco Savellano, Santella garnered 5,843 votes against Benny Azcueta's 3,608 and Cresencio Sumagit's 2,224. The eight duly elected councilors according to rank were Danilo Gazmen, Rodolfo S. Alambat Jr., Nora C. Lopez, Harry Segui, Simeon Serrano, Genara Baclig, Gregorio Pula and Leandro Serrano. Under the law then existing, they would be serving a term of 4 years.

The 1991 LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE: The Local Government Code reduced the term of local elective officials to 3 years. It further provided that the election for local officials shall be held every 3 years on the second Monday of May. All incumbent would serve until June 30, 1992. The same law made the vice-mayor the presiding officer of the municipal council now known as the Sangguniang Bayan.

 
Danilo Q. Gazmen

The May 11, 1992 election saw a return bout between Andrea Soller Tan and Francisco Savellano. Their respective running mates were Danilo Gazmen and Carlito S. Pano. Amado Naval ran as an independent candidate for vice-mayor. Andrea Soller Tan and Danilo Gazmen won. The winning councilors or members of the Sangguniang Bayan were: Cresencio S. Azcueta Jr., Ferdinand Julio R. Trinidad, Rodolfo S. Alambat Jr., Ricardo S. Somera, Bienvenido S. Santella, Edmund S. Sonico, Carlos V. Sison and Genara C. Baclig. They assumed office on June 30, 1992. Their terms would end on June 30, 1995.

Andrea Soller Tan, ran for a third term in the May 8, 1995 election with Danny Gazmen as her running mate. Her opponent was again Francisco Savellano who had no running mate. Danny was the only candidate for vice-mayor in this election. Dely and Danny won, together with the following candidates for the municipal council and Sangguniang Bayan - Ferdinand Julio R. Trinidad, Cresencio S. Azcueta Jr., Bienvenido S. Santella, Ricardo S. Somera, Rodolfo S. Alambat Jr., Edmund Sonico, Carlos Sison and Genara Baclig. They assumed office on June 30, 1995. Their terms ended on June 30, 1998.

(Andrea Soller-Tan resigned on March 1998 and ran for the position of Vice Governor. Vice Mayor Danny Gazmen assumed office as Mayor on March until June 30, 1998.)

Came the May 11, 1998 election. Andrea Soller Tan having already served 3 successive terms could no longer run for re-election. This time, the town witnessed a four-cornered fight for the mayorship. The candidates were Bendell Soller Tan (son of the outgoing mayor), Benjamin B. Santella Jr., Francisco Savellano and Pedro S. Tan. There were only two candidates for vice-mayor. They were Danilo Gazmen who teamed up with Bendell, and Rex Augustus S. Morales who was Dito Santella’s running mate. Bendell and Danny came out winners. The winning candidates for the Sangguniang Bayan were Helen S. Lazo, Ferdinand Julio Trinidad, Luciamar S. Pano, Josefina S. Vallejo, Bienvenido S. Santella, Maria Jara Serrano, Ricardo Somera and Carlos Sison. They assumed office on June 30, 1998. Their terms would expire on June 30, 2001.

Bendell Soller-Tan
 

The May 14, 2001 election saw Helen Soller Lazo, Andrea Soller Tan and Diocaesar S. Suero contesting the mayorship. Their respective running mates were Ferdinand Julio Trinidad, Francisco Savellano and Rex Augustus Morales. Diocaesar S. Suero and Rex Augustus Morales bested their rivals. The following won as members of the Sangguniang Bayan: Danilo Gazmen, Josefina Vallejo, Dodjie Santella, Jessie Pat Serna, Rodrigo Sandi, Thaddeus Soller, Noel Modesto Sivila and Luciamar S. Pano. They took their oaths of office on June 30, 2001. They will hold office until June 30, 2004.

In the May 10, 2004, election, Diocaesar Suero and Rex Morales ran for re-election as mayor and vice-mayor. Challenging them were Andrea Soller-Tan and Danilo Gazmen. Both re-electionists bested their rivals. The victorious candidates for the Sangguniang Bayan were: Luciamar S. Pano, Josefina S. Vallejo, Dodjie S. Santella, Jessie Pat M. Serna, Noel Modesto B. Sivila, Owen S. Sandi, Cesar S. Soller, and Thaddeus U. Soller. Their terms would expire on June 30, 2007.

Diocaesar S. Suero, M.D.

Came the May 14, 2007 election. Incumbents Diocaeser Suero and Rex Morales again ran for re-election as mayor and vice-mayor. Their respective rivals this time were Amelia S. Abarquez for mayor, and Edgardo S. Cobangbang, Jr. for vice-mayor. The incumbents again came out winners, together with the following candidates for the Sangguniang Bayan: Danilo Q. Gazmen, Dodjie S. Santella, Carlito S. Pano, Jessie Pat M. Serna, Owen S. Sandi, Noel Modesto B. Sivila, Thaddeus U. Soller, and Benedicto M. Savellano. Their terms would end on June 30, 2010.

Came the May 10, 2010 election. The incumbent mayor and vice-mayor being on their 3rd consecutive term could no longer-run for the same positions. This time, it was a four-cornered fight for the positions for mayor and vice-mayor. The candidates for mayor were Edgardo S. Cobangbang Jr., Chita S. Suero, Rex S. Morales, and Lalaine Apostol Recasata. Their respective running mates were Danilo S. Gazmen, Dodjie S. Santella, Amelia S. Abarquez and Rodolfo S. Alambat Jr. Each pair had their respective line-up of candidates for the Sangguniang Bayan.

 

Edgardo S. Cobangbang, Jr. won the mayoralty contest with 9,997 votes. His running mate, Danilo Q. Gazmen, also topped the vice-mayoralty race with 7,670 votes. The winning candidates for the Sangguniang Bayan were:

1. Vicky Segui Serna
2. Josefina S. Vallejo
3. Richard Alcid
4. Owen Sandi
5. Crescencio Sumagit, Jr.
6. Carlito S. Pano, M.D.
7. Jemaima S. Tan-Yee, M.D.
8. Benedicto M. Savellano

Their terms would expire on June 30, 2013.

Note: In 2010, the first automated election was held using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) technology. Mayor Ediboy thus becomes the first elected local chief executive of Cabugao to be voted through automation.

POST - WAR MAYORS OF CABUGAO ILOCOS SUR
SEBASTIAN S. SIRUNO
JAN. 1, 1938 TO DEC. 31, 1947
SEVERO CORPUZ
 
JAN. 1, 1948 TO DEC. 31, 1951
SIMEON A. SOLLER
 
JAN. 1, 1952 TO DEC. 31, 1955
LUCIO ZABALA
 
JAN. 1, 1956 TO JULY 1959
SANTOS SABIO
 
JULY 1959, TO DEC. 31, 1959
VICTORINO A. SAVELLANO
 
JAN. 1, 1960 TO SEPT. 8, 1968
ALBERTO A. SOLLER
 
SEPT. 8, 1968 TO DEC. 31, 1971
PACIFICO P. APOSTOL
 
JAN. 1, 1972 TO JAN. 3, 1981
CRESENCIO S. AZCUETA, SR
 
JAN. 4, 1981 TO OCT. 1, 1986
ANDREA SOLLER TAN
 
OCT. 2, 1986 TO JAN. 18, 1988 (As OIC)
 
JAN. 18, 1988 TO JUNE 30, 1998 (AS ELECTIVE MAYOR)
EDMUND SONICO
  DEC. 1987 TO JAN. 1988 (As OIC)
DANILO Q. GAZMEN
  MARCH TO JUNE 30,1998 (As OIC)
BENDELL SOLLER TAN
 
JUNE 30, 1998 TO JUNE 30, 2001
DIOCAESAR S. SUERO, M.D
 
JUNE 30, 2001 TO JUNE 30, 2010
EDGARDO S. COBANGBANG JR.
 
JUNE 30, 2010 TO PRESENT